The Concept and Antilogy of Necessity in "The Things They Carried" The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, a medley of short stories tied together by a common theme, examines the many facets of necessity and poses a question of just how valuable the things we hold to be necessities really are. During the confusion of war, the definition of necessity becomes rather slippery in the minds of the soldiers and in such desperate situations, a soldier may find himself holding on to all he can. Despite the fact that these objects may hurt the soldier or bring him to his demise, letting go of such articles is very difficult. The late Ted Lavender, whose death is only a memory throughout the book, is one of those men. When he was shot, the enormous amount of weight he was carrying at the time, the fear in his heart, and the weight of the bullet caused him to collapse instantaneously.
Symbolically, the act of falling relates to the weight causing his ultimate downfall - death.
The Things They Carried exhibits necessity in its advantageous aspects as well as its disadvantageous ones. It examines the burdens of each individual and the effects that the burdens have on the person in given situations. O'Brien deliberately makes the reader consider what constitutes a necessity by packing his story with heavy irony; a weight that sends conflicting images to the reader and causes him/her to examine the realms of necessity. The reader can go further and apply this distinction between real necessity and something that just provides emotional sustenance to his/her own life.
"The thing they carried were largely determined by necessity," (2). The most important necessities can be easily argued as those of survival, and to establish their importance, these "necessities" appear...